By Mohammed Shafeeq
Hyderabad, Feb 19 (IANS) Nallari Kiran Kumar Reddy may go down in history as the last chief minister of undivided Andhra Pradesh, if the central government decides to impose President’s rule till the creation of Telangana state.
After failing to stall state’s division, Kiran Reddy Wednesday resigned not just as the chief minister but also from the Congress party.
As the 53-year-old himself admitted, it was not an easy decision to sever his family’s over six decade old association with the party.
After openly defying the leadership following its decision in July last year to split the state, Kiran Reddy finally put in his paper, saying a grave injustice was done to Telugu-speaking people by dividing them for political benefits.
It was Nov 25, 2010 that he was sworn in as the 16th chief minister of Andhra Pradesh when the state was witnessing protests for and against separate Telangana state and Congress was in bad shape due to the revolt by Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy.
Congress selected Kiran Reddy, who was then speaker of the state assembly, to succeed K. Rosaiah, who was finding it difficult to handle the situation.
Born in Hyderabad, the four-time legislator represents Piler constituency in Chittoor district in the Rayalaseema region. While opposing bifurcation, he never missed an opportunity to highlight his roots and how he used to play cricket during his students days in Hyderabad, which is geographically a part of Telangana.
By challenging the Congress decision, Kiran Reddy has emerged as the champion of ‘samaikyandhra’ or united Andhra and a key leader representing the interests of lakhs of Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and coastal Andhra) people living in Hyderabad.
Kiran Reddy never served as a minister before he was made the chief minister. During his public speeches, he always used to highlight this fact to exhort party workers to work hard.
Born in Hyderabad Sep 13, 1960, he is the son of late Congress leader and former state minister from Chittoor district, N. Amarnath Reddy, who was considered close to former prime ministers Indira Gandhi and P.V. Narasimha Rao.
He did his B.Com, LLB from Osmania University in Hyderabad. A student of Nizam College here, he was a passionate cricketer, led the university team but missed the opportunity to play for the Hyderabad team in the Ranji Trophy in early 1980s.
He was first elected to the assembly from Vaylapad assembly constituency in 1989. He lost in 1994 but was re-elected in 1999 and 2004. He was elected from Piler in the 2009 elections.
Considered loyal to then chief minister Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy, Kiran Kumar Reddy served as government chief whip from 2004 to 2009. He also served as member of the Public Undertakings Committee and Assurance Committee.
In 2009, when Congress retained power, Kiran Kumar Reddy was an aspirant for a cabinet berth but Rajasekhara Reddy surprised everybody by picking him for the speaker’s post.
He is married and has a son and a daughter.
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)